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Spokane City Council approves contract for design of Trent Avenue homeless shelter upgrades

Nov. 15, 2022 Updated Wed., Nov. 16, 2022 at 4:57 p.m.

At the city of Spokane's new homeless shelter, called the Trent Resource and Assistance Center at 4320 E. Trent Avenue, Eric Finch, left, the Interim Director for Spokane's Housing and Human Services Division talks with visitors about the proposed plan to build individual living pods inside the city's new shelter Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022 in Spokane, Washington. The former warehouse opened to those needing shelter Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022.  (Jesse Tinsley/The Spokesman-Review)
At the city of Spokane's new homeless shelter, called the Trent Resource and Assistance Center at 4320 E. Trent Avenue, Eric Finch, left, the Interim Director for Spokane's Housing and Human Services Division talks with visitors about the proposed plan to build individual living pods inside the city's new shelter Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022 in Spokane, Washington. The former warehouse opened to those needing shelter Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022. (Jesse Tinsley/The Spokesman-Review)
By Emry Dinman The Spokesman-Review The Spokesman-Review

Spokane has taken an initial step to provide basic services to people housed in the Trent Avenue homeless shelter.

The Spokane City Council approved a $117,500 contract Monday with Coeur d’Alene-based Architects West to design the addition of restrooms, showers, laundry facilities and two-bed sleeping pods inside of the former trucking warehouse.

People staying at the Trent Resource and Assistance Center at 4320 E. Trent Avenue now rely on a temporary shower trailer.

City staff anticipated that about 17 toilets, 13 showers, 15 sinks and eight washer-dryer combos would be included in the final design.

However, there is no estimate in the contract for the number of two-bed, semi-private pods that Architects West would be able to fit into the space.

When the council approved a five-year lease for the warehouse in June, it was projected that the facility would fit 150 to 250 beds. Mayor Nadine Woodward has said the city can fit more than 400 people in the shelter.

About 230 people stayed in the Trent Avenue shelter last Monday, according to city spokesman Brian Coddington.

The architects will first need to examine the building and current infrastructure to determine how the pods can be arranged to maximize the use of space, and whether existing utilities will be sufficient to serve the anticipated number of people, said Marcus Valentine of Architects West.

The firm estimated that it would deliver a design within eight weeks, though Valentine declined to provide an exact date so soon after the contract was approved.

City staff acknowledged in a report that additional facility water, sewer, electrical, and gas services will likely be necessary for the project. The year-long contract with Architects West includes work from the predesign stage through to construction administration.

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